Boris Johnson must U-turn on Tory plans to cut furlough and business support from 1st July, following his decision to extend lockdown measures.
It comes as new figures from the ONS, published this morning, show the number of payrolled employees is still 553,000 below levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – with the largest falls in the accommodation and food services sector, and among people aged under 25 years.
Separately, the latest figures from HMRC show there are 3.4 million people on furlough, representing about a tenth of the total workforce.
Businesses and trade unions have urged the Chancellor to extend furlough and business rates relief, with calls from the British Chambers of Commerce, UK Hospitality, and the TUC, among others.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Business spokesperson Stephen Flynn MP said:
“With lockdown measures still in place, it is essential that Boris Johnson extends full furlough and business support to protect people’s jobs, incomes and livelihoods.
“It would be utterly unthinkable for the Tories to cut support prematurely, which would put many businesses at risk of going under and make thousands of people redundant across the UK.
“It’s clear that those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and young people, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
“With 3.4million people still on furlough, and 553,000 fewer people in payrolled employment, now is not the time for the Tories to withdraw support.
“Instead of taking help away from businesses, the Tories should be delivering a major fiscal stimulus, of at least £100billion, to secure a strong investment-led recovery.
“It makes no sense at all that the UK currently has the lowest stimulus package of any G7 country, despite suffering the worst economic slump.
“With more Tory cuts coming, it’s clear Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control.
“The only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery.”